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MSc Subsurface Energy Engineering

Please note that this course is subject to approval.

Year of entry: 2020


Degree awarded
Master of Science
MSc FT - 12 months
Entry requirements

Upper second (2.1) class honours degree in engineering subjects (chemical, civil, mechanical, petroleum engineering), or in geological sciences (geology, geophysics, petroleum geology, petrophysics, hydrogeology) with an evident background in engineering mathematics. Relevant industrial experience may also be considered alongside a previous degree.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

Students will focus on the modelling and simulation of subsurface properties, processes in industrial applications of oil and gas extraction; carbon capture and storage; geothermal energy; groundwater resources and ground mechanics and stability.

MSc Subsurface Energy Engineering


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £11,500
    International students (per annum): £25,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science
Contact name
Mrs Alison Cheslett
+44 (0) 161 306 4837

The School of Engineering creates a world of possibilities for students pursuing skills and understanding. Through dynamic research and teaching we develop engineering solutions that make a difference to society in an ethical and sustainable way.  Science-based engineering is at the heart of what we do, and through collaboration we support the engineers and scientists of tomorrow to become technically strong, analytically innovative and creative. Find out more about Science and Engineering at Manchester .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Upper second (2.1) class honours degree in engineering subjects (chemical, civil, mechanical, petroleum engineering), or in geological sciences (geology, geophysics, petroleum geology, petrophysics, hydrogeology) with an evident background in engineering mathematics. Relevant industrial experience may also be considered alongside a previous degree.

English language

If English is not your first language, you will need to take and meet minimum requirements for the following recognised English language qualifications:  IELTS (6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component) or TOEFL (Internet based) 90 overall (minimum components 8 - Reading, 7 - Listening, 16 - Speaking and 18 - Writing). Please contact us if you have an alternative qualification and we will make an individual assessment.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. See details of entry requirements for your country at:   This information below relates to the entry requirements for international students wishing to be admitted onto MSc Subsurface Energy Engineering in September 2020. This should be used for guidance and is not a definitive guide as the suitability of discipline, module performance and research will also be taken into consideration. Entry requirements are subject to review each academic year. If your country is not listed, please contact our admissions team.

Azerbaijan: Bakalavr Diplomu 4 out of 5, or 80%   

Bahrain: Bachelor degree GPA 3.2/4.0

Brazil: Bacharel / Licenciado 6 out of 10 or higher

China (mainland): Xueshi 80% or higher

Colombia: Titulo de/ Profesional/ Maestro/ Diploma 4.0/5.0

Ecuador: Licenciado  80% or 8/10

Egypt: Bachelor degree GPA 3.2/4.0

Ghana: Bachelor degree Second Class, Upper Division

Iran: License / Karshenasi 14/20

Iraq: Bachelor degree 75% in four-year degree

Kazakhstan: Bakalavr 85% in four-year degree

Kuwait: Bachelor degree GPA 3.0/4.0

Malaysia: Bachelor degree 3.00/4.00 from a Public University

Mexico: Licenciatura  8.5/10

Morocco: Bachelor degree 15/20

Nigeria: Bachelor degree Second Class, Upper Division

Oman: Bachelor degree GPA 3.0/4.0

Qatar: Bachelor degree GPA 3.0/4.0

Russia: Specialist Diploma 4.25/5.0

Saudi Arabia: Bachelor degree 3.0/4.0 or 3.7/5.0

Turkey: Lisans / Muhendis Diplomasi  2.8-3.4/4.0

Ukraine: Dyplom Magistra/ Bachelors 4.3/5.0

United Arab Emirates: Bachelor degree GPA 3.0/4.0

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

Subsurface Energy PhD Scientist, Rimsha Aziz, talks about her research and career in engineering
Hear from a Subsurface Energy Engineering PhD graduate about this programme.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

The Subsurface Energy Engineering Masters Programme offers a fascinating integrated taught and research curriculum in the context of energy and utilisation of subsurface systems to achieve cleaner and more sustainable energy.  

Research studies show that global demand for energy will increase 25% by 2050. To meet this demand while addressing the global warming challenge by moving towards cleaner energy, multi-dimensional societal, engineering-focused, managerial, and political efforts are needed. It is expected that two thirds of the global energy to be covered by renewable sources by 2050. However, the transition from fossil fuels to the renewable energy requires an integrated sustainable utilisation of existing energy sources including conventional fossil fuels and development of new technologies for decarbonisation and clean energy.

Geosystems in this context play a critical role as they not only offer sources of fossil fuels (oil and gas) but also renewable energy (e.g., geothermal energy) and capacity for decarbonisation (geological CO2 sequestration). The MSc Subsurface Energy Engineering - jointly developed in collaboration with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences - will give a unique opportunity to students - with a prior qualification in engineering -  to learn engineering and modelling skills required such as  subsurface characterisation, rock and fluid physics, multiphase flow and transport in subsurface system, reservoir modelling and simulations, and reservoir fluid thermodynamics.  Students will acquire a deep and systematic conceptual understanding and practical engineering skills needed for diverse industry applications such as reservoir engineering, geothermal engineering and carbon sequestration. Additionally, the programme offers unique opportunities to talented students to work with the industry during the MSc research.

Course unit details

This programme is subject to approval. The following course units are expected to form the content of the programme but may be subject to change.

Communication Skills and Project Preparation 1 & 2 (15 Credits): The course aims to equip students with the skills to communicate scientific information, knowledge and ideas to expert and non-expert audiences. Two field trips build on the concepts taught throughout the MSc program. Assessment of each trip focuses on field skills, using a series of exercises to develop these core skills.

Fundamentals of Applied Subsurface Geoscience (15 Credits): The course covers the business drivers to gather and interpret geological data for a range of applications. We describe the fundamentals of the subsurface environment; temperature and pressure, and key geological properties that are important in evaluating subsurface reservoirs.

Key Interpretation Skills: Formation Evaluation (15 credits): Geophysical and borehole data are the only data sources to describe the subsurface structure, its properties, and to reduce uncertainty in the subsurface. Data are typically used as input for modelling of the subsurface. This unit delivers an integrated overview of the acquisition, processing and interpretation of subsurface geophysical and petrophysical data with application to a range of subsurface problems.

Subsurface Physical -Chemical Transport Processes (15 credits): This unit will enable students to analyse and evaluate the fundamental physical and chemical processes in subsurface systems for oil and gas industry, geothermal energy recovery, geological carbon storage. Topics that will be covered within this unit include porosity, permeability, typical reservoir rocks (sandstone, carbonate), well testing and reservoir size estimation and reactive transport for carbon storage process, EOR and geothermal.

Fundamentals of Numerical Modelling and Simulation (15 credits): This unit will enable students to analyse and evaluate the fundamental physical and chemical processes in subsurface systems for oil and gas industry, geothermal energy recovery, geological carbon storage. It will also provide training for writing the mathematical models required to solve a subsurface engineering and identifying and evaluating the proper boundary and initial condition applicable to a subsurface case study.

Properties of Subsurface Fluids (15 credits): The unit covers the properties of subsurface fluid systems, water and chemicals. We provide the theoretical and empirical bases in characterising the subsurface fluids, water and chemicals behaviour. We introduce key properties of water and chemicals used for geothermal heat extraction and enhanced oil recovery processes.

Subsurface Mechanics and Geoengineering (15 credits): All subsurface activities, from mining and drilling to construction, destabilize and deform the existing subsurface structure. The theories of stress, infinitesimal strain and elasticity, and the strength and modes of failure of rocks are topics that must be understood by the practising subsurface engineer.

Advanced Subsurface Modelling (15 credits): The unit covers topics related to numerical modelling of flow in subsurface porous systems including IMPES vs. fully implicit schemes, two-point flux approximation vs. multipoint flux approximation, and numerical simulation of 1D/2D single, two- and multiphase immiscible flow (e.g., oil/water, oil/surfactant solutions and oil/polymeric solutions).

Dissertation (60 credits)


Jointly-developed with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, this programme provides a unique opportunity to access combined expertise and facilities.

These include:

Imaging facility for high-resolution visualization of geographical materials.

Core flooding and microfluidic laboratories.

Industry standard petrophysics laboratory.

Rock deformation laboratory.

Access to industry software (Eclipse Matlab, Avizo, etc.)

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:


Career opportunities

In recent years Chemical Engineering graduates have entered professions in major international oil and petrochemical companies (e.g. Shell, BP, TOTAL, Reliance and Petrobras and Saudi Aramco), chemical and process companies, engineering, consultancy and software companies (e.g. Jacobs and Aspen Tech) and academia.